(CBS) – With crime so prevalent in Chicago, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker takes a look at what’s being done to break the cycle of violence.
She talks with a father figure who has a history of gang membership.
“Spend time with them. Spend time. I mean time is the most important thing you can give to a child,” says LaPierre Scott.
He’s the voice of experience. Thirteen years — more than half of his life – were spent in a gang. He’s had six arrests. The latest was Friday, for a misdemeanor for aiding the sale of drugs.
“It’s what I’ve been doing all my life. It’s like something I’m used to. It’s a part of me,” Scott says.
Rappers glorifying life on the street is what attracted Scott to the gangs. And the voice he needed to silence their music was missing.
“A lot of these kids out here have no fathers so they come to the streets. They turn to the streets for that fatherly figure … Just like I did,” he says.
He gives his mother credit for trying to keep him on the right path. But as one of six kids it was tough.
He says acting out in school and at home and disobeying curfews are among the telltale signs that a youth could be drifting to a gang. Parents should try to be engaged in their kid’s life, he suggests.
“Be in his life. Show you’re concerned,” Scott says.
Concern is what Scott shows to his future stepson who’s out on the basketball court. He’s attends almost every game.
“He has a lot going for himself. He’s in school. He plays ball. The gang ain’t going to do nothing but mislead him. Misdirect his life. There’s nothing good,” Scott says.
He adds he’s constantly telling his future stepson to stay in school, to get his education and obey his mother. He wishes someone had drilled the same message into his head.